Friday, January 11, 2013

Retro Friday: melted plastic popcorn

Another Friday, another piece of vintage Christmas decor that reminds me of my childhood.  Have you ever heard of melted plastic popcorn?  I hadn't until I found this in a thrift shop:
His red nose was mostly broken off, so I hot glued a puff ball on there, plus I added the ribbon to help hang it on the wall.
We had a couple of these decorations when I was growing up; ours were a Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa and a Donald Duck carrying presents.  Here's the best photo I could find of them, on the window ledge, circa 1983.  (Aww...Dad helping baby Jill open a present, plus Rachel rocking a Dorothy Hamill haircut.)
When I showed my Rudolph treasure to my sister-in-law Kelly, she said the her family had a witch in the same style.  After a bit of googling, she discovered the official term of "melted plastic popcorn", which of course led to a couple hours wasted on etsy and eBay by yours truly. 
Then in a strange coincidence, about a week later I was walking past my neighbor's house as she was loading her car with donations meant for Goodwill.  She asked me to take a look and see if I wanted any of their outbound kid toys, and I saw a black hat made of melted plastic popcorn sticking out of a bag.  I probably startled her with my enthusiasm.  "Holy cow!  Is that the witch?  Was it yours as a kid?  Why are you getting rid of it?"  Alas, it wasn't a witch, but a jack-o-lantern with the same kind of hat as the witch.  My neighbor's mom had gotten it in an estate sale grab bag, and her family had no interest in keeping it.
You better believe we brought this guy home and added him to our collection.  Does two items count as a collection?
My internet searching has told me that the witch is fairly easy to buy, though a little pricey, but the Mickey Mouse Santa is going to be near impossible to find.  I plan to keep stalking my neighbors' outgoing junk piles.


  1. According to the Texas State Fair creative arts competition - two items a collection makes :)

    The puffy ball and ribbon look like they belong.

  2. I do remember these but not from antique or thrift shopping. Oh no, does that mean I am getting really old because they had these when I was growing up? I have not seen any in a very long time.
    Thanks for sharing a childhood memory

  3. I had forgotten about these!! I'd bet my parents still have some stashed in their house somewhere. Must. Find. Them.